The Northwestern women’s golf team returned to the Big Ten Championships this weekend, and walked away with its third top-three finish in four years. School record holder and three-time Big Ten Golfer of the Week Hana Lee continued her stellar season, finishing third overall. The ‘Cats played wild all season, finishing with eight top-five finishes in 10 tournaments. The NCAA Women’s Golf Championship is next for the Wildcats, with regional selections announced Monday.
DAY 1: Apr. 25
Northwestern started strong in the first round of the Big Ten Championships, which started Friday at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind. The Wildcats tied for first place at Big Ten’s last year, and continued to lead the pack this season, facing off against 72 golfers competing for the 12 teams in the Big Ten.
The ‘Cats ended the first day fifth in the team standings with golfers Hana Lee and Suchaya Tangkamolprasert tied for fifth overall, both scoring 75. None of the competitors in the field were under par in round one, only the leader was on par.
DAY 2: Apr. 26
As the competition moved into its second day, the Wildcats moved up into the top three, improving by six strokes to finish at 608. Ohio State held the highest team score at the end of the first round, but Michigan State moved up to tie for first place after the second round with 598.
All but one of the girls matched or improved their score, with Lee still in a tie for fifth place, only a stroke behind two players who were tied for third.
Three Northwestern sophomores walked away from Saturday in a tie for 16th place. Tangkamolprasert hit a 79 and dropped from fifth overall. Kaitlin Park, who finished sixth as Northwestern’s top scorer at Big Ten’s last year, scored 5-over 77. Elizabeth Szokol jumped from 41st to 16th by playing the best round of the tournament, improving on her first round performance by six strokes.
Senior Devon Brown finished seventh last year, ended the competition Saturday in a tie for 32nd. Freshman Kacie Komoto rounded out the Wildcats in a tie for 41st, playing in her first collegiate post-season tournament.
DAY 3: Apr. 27
On day three of the tournament Lee moved up to finish third overall, right behind two golfers from Ohio State. She recorded one of the best individual rounds of the weekend, 2-under 70, keeping Northwestern at the top.
The ‘Cats played their best on Sunday, maintaining their third place standing, carding a 9-over 297. They finished with a 905, just 10 strokes behind Ohio State and Michigan, who share the championship title.
Szokol moved up three spots and finished in a tie for 13th after matching her record from Saturday. Komoto saved her best for last and moved up 10 places to tie with teammate Tangkamolprasert in 31st place. Park finished just two strokes behind, and tied for 37th. Brown made her final appearance at Big Ten’s and rounded out the Wildcats in 55th place.